The banking sector has emerged as the most trusted industry to handle personal data collection, according to the 2024 Thales Digital Trust Index. A study that surveyed 12,462 customers worldwide revealed that a comfortable 44% trusted banks with their personal data the most. On the contrary, industries at the low end of the scale were social media, entertainment, and logistics companies.
The research findings showed that a large majority (89%) of customers were willing to share their data with firms. However, this openness was contingent on some non-negotiable conditions. Over half of all consumers (55%) insisted on being informed of data collection, and a similar percentage expected the right to have their personal data erased (54%). It was also identified that privacy concerns caused over a quarter of customers (26%) to dissociate from a brand within the last year.
Findings from the 2024 Thales Digital Trust Index pointed out that the sectors perceived to be most trustworthy with personal data are banking, healthcare and government services. Sectors appearing at the bottom of the trust index were media and entertainment, social media, and logistics firms. More than a quarter of consumers, 26%, reported leaving behind a brand in the past year due to worries about their personal data usage.
Commenting on the findings, Danny de Vreeze, Vice President of Identity and Access Management at Thales, said, "Consumers place more trust in banking, healthcare and government services when it comes to sharing their personal data, a universal trend we've seen across all the markets surveyed."
De Vreeze further explicated that the trust arises from the stringent regulations these industries face, the sensitive nature of the data entrusted to them, and their established data security measures.
The report also emphasised that 87% of consumers expect at least some level of privacy rights from online brands. Other rights sought by consumers include the right to correct their personal data (39%), to request a copy of their data (33%), and to move data from one platform to another (26%). Concern about excessive personal data prompted 29% of consumers to abandon a brand in the previous year, with a similar proportion (26%) also abandoning a brand due to personal data usage concerns.
Aside from the demand for privacy, the ability to provide seamless online experiences was another significant factor in winning consumer trust. Ad pop-ups were the number one frustration (71%), followed by password resets (64%) and having to re-enter personal data (64%). A complex cookie option was named one of the top annoyances by 59% of those surveyed. Notably, more than a fifth of those surveyed said they would discontinue an online interaction within a minute if it proved to be frustrating.
As de Vreeze concluded, "The relationship between trust and user experience is the foundation of successful online interactions. The imperative is clear: organisations must uphold an unwavering commitment to both data security and user experience to build a future where trust enables digital interactions."